There’s a word in the German language that every missionary ought to be acquainted with. The word is Kummerspeck: literally meaning ‘grief-bacon’, this word refers to the extra weight we gain from emotional overeating. This week my Kummerspeck was not good to me. There were so many emotions, but most of them were wonderful because ANJA AND KRISTIN WERE BAPTIZED!(yea, turns out I have been spelling her name wrong…)
If you think baptisms are simply glorious days bathing in the spirit, then you are mistaken. They are, no doubt, amazing spiritual experiences, but man are they stressful! (Hence the Kummerspeck) It’s a good thing we only need to be baptized once with proper authority.
On Tuesday we met with them and asked if they had to work on Saturday or if they could be baptized. Well Anja, knowing where her priorities lie, told us that she would skip work to be baptized. She said baptism was 1,000x more important than cleaning hotels and she would be there without a doubt. That’s what I’m talking about folks, let’s take a page from Anja’s Book of Priorities because she knows where it’s at.
Our ward mission leader has been on one of those European vacations where they disappear for a month, so we were left to organizing the double baptism ourselves. Everything ran fairly smoothly until the actual day of the baptism.
On Saturday morning we found out the water heater was broken, so the font was turned into an ice-cold chill bath. This was quite ironic because Kristin had dreamed that she would be baptized in freezing water and I had assured her that wouldn’t be the case. Nope! Anja was the first to be baptized, but it was performed without saying her full name. those middle names will get’cha! As soon as Kristin was also done being baptized, we had to run back and tell Anja to put back on her icy white dress to be baptized again. All was well though, she worked that 2nd baptism better than Beyonce’s works a weave.
We were exhausted after the baptism, and treated ourselves to an all-you-can-eat Asian buffet. Hello Kummerspeck! After lunch, we headed back to the church and attended a baptism for a different ward with our two EFY girls. They absolutely loved it and are so excited for their own baptisms. know we just need to pray for parental permission.
I also had the opportunity to go on exchange this week in Zwickau: original home of President Uchtdorf. I was with a newer missionary and we talked about the song‘Home’ by Phillip Phillips, because I find the lyrics perfect for missionaries.
Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone Cause I’m going to make this place your home Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
The Lord has really made Germany my home. Missions are unfamiliar roads, filled with fear, troubles, and temptations. There are plenty of reasons why one gains Kummerspeck out on the mission field (for one, I am typing this email while snacking on a Rittersport) but I know that we are never alone. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I LOVE MY MISSION. Deciding to serve was the 2nd best decision I ever made, the 1st being my decision to be baptized.